India-bound drug trafficker gets 25 years jail term

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A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday sentenced one Freeman Charles Ogbonna, to 25 years imprisonment for drug trafficking.

Ogbonna bagged the jail term three months after vomiting and excreting 80 wraps of cocaine.

He was arrested Sunday 31 March 2924 by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), at the screening point of terminal 2 of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, while attempting to board his flight to Delhi, India via Doha on Qatar Airways, with a Liberian international passport, bearing the name: Carr Bismark.

He was taken for body scan, which tested positive for ingestion of illicit drugs.

Preliminary checks revealed his real identity as Freeman Charles Ogbonna and was subsequently placed under observation in NDLEA custody where he started to manifest signs of discomfort. Obviously choked by the volume of illicit drugs in his stomach and another substance taken to hold back excretion, the suspect soon began to retch before starting to vomit and excrete wraps of cocaine he ingested almost simultaneously.

The suspect who claimed he was recruited into drug trafficking by one of his relatives eventually passed out a total of 80 wraps of cocaine weighing 889 grams through his mouth and anus over a period of four days.

Ogbonna said he was given the drugs to swallow at a hotel in Ipodo area of Ikeja with a promise to reward him with N300,000 cash if he successfully delivers the consignment in India.

He was subsequently arraigned before Justice Dipeolu Isaac of the Federal High Court, Lagos in charge number FHCL/378/2024 for committing an offence contrary to section 20(1)(b) and punishable under section 20(2)(a) of the NDLEA Act Cap N30 LFN 2004.

Delivering his judgement on the case on Monday, Justice Dipeolu sentenced Ogbonna to 25 years in prison without an option of fine.

Reacting to the outcome of the case, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig Gen Buba Marwa (Rtd) commended the MMIA Command and the prosecution team for a fast and diligent handling of the case, adding that the judiciary remains a strong pillar in the coordinated and concerted effort to curb the scourge of substance abuse and illicit drug trafficking in Nigeria.

He said Ogbonna’s conviction will further send a strong signal to his ilk that there will be no hiding place for drug barons and their mules.

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